Saturday, April 16, 2011

Author Interview: Susan Dennard

I've decided to start a new series on Publishing Lane! We'll call it Author Interviews, since I'm bursting with creativity right now (10 hour days breathing in espresso fumes will do that to you). Recently, a bunch of my very talented friends have landed book deals and I want to make sure you guys get the heads-up on what kind of things you have to look forward to! 

We're starting things off with the lovely Susan Dennard, whose debut will be appearing on shelves in 2012. I've read Sooz's novel and am basically obsessed with it (zombie steampunk. How can you go wrong?). So when this one comes out, I suggest you all pre-order it. Trust me, it'll be well worth the wait.

Author Interview:
Susan Dennard

1. So, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY. What’s the lowdown?

It’s 1876, and Philadelphia is hosting the first American World Fair. It’s also hosting rancid corpses that refuse to stay dead. When one of those decomposing bodies brings Eleanor--a 16-year-old with a weakness for buttered toast and Shakespeare quotes--a hostage note for her brother, she resolves to do anything to rescue him. But to face the armies of Dead that have him, she’ll need a little help from a ragtag spirit-hunting team.

2. If you could be any item of clothing, what would it be and why?

A really flattering, really cute yellow sundress.  Why?  Er...because I like summer, sunshine, and smiling, and anyone who wore me would be partaking in all three. :)

3. How long did it take you to write the book?

First draft took about 1 month.  Revisions?  About 7 months!  The first draft was in third person and a completely different kind of story.  It was light and silly--light and silly!  How did I ever think that would work with Victorian zombies...?  ::headdesk::
4. You’re throwing a party: who’s invited? And what are you serving?

Um, I don't throw parties.  I don't really attend them either.  That introvert writer stereotype is 100% accurate for me.  But...I guess I'd invite my closest friends--not many--and serve COOKIES and CUPCAKES.

5. How was the querying process for you?

Quick.  Nerve-wracking.  But also the most EXCITING week of my life.

6. Name one TV show you couldn’t live without.

Arrested Development.  Oh still my heart.
7. Any cover ideas for SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY?

Oh yeah! My editor and I had to submit a bunch of covers I liked to Harper's design team, and then tell them what I absolutely wanted.  I said I wanted a voluptuous girl (or at least not skinny!) in Victorian garb, but I was told not to specify hair or eye color.  These are the covers I submitted (um, it's a lot....):

My favorite is definitely THE VESPERTINE--I would LOVE to have a cover like that!
8. Biggest crush on a fictional character?

Han Solo.  Scalawag, cocky rogue, actually good captain of a space ship? Yes, please.

Oh, I would also follow Howl (from HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE) to the ends of all those earths...

9. Now that SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY sold, any clues as to what you’re working on?

I'm working on SCREECHERS, a YA fantasy/sci-fi.

10. You're playing two truths and a lie. What's your lie?

I never lie.

11. If you had to pick one theme song for your novel, what would it be?


12. Take a silly/goofy/random photo of yourself.


  1. Awesome interview, Sammy. Keep 'em coming!

  2. Sammy, I love you. That is all.